ALSC Matters! | March 2013, Volume 11, no. 1

***Attn: This is an ARCHIVE page. Web sites and e-mail addresses referenced on this page may no longer be in service.***

Officially Speaking  |  ALSC Voices  |  Bright Ideas  |  Getting Together  |  Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 

Officially Speaking

Introducing the 2012-2013 ALSC Board

Photo of Carolyn Brodie, courtesy of Gary Harwood

~~ Service is what life is all about. (Marian Wright Edelman) ~~

It is my pleasure to introduce you to our service-oriented, hardworking and dedicated ALSC Board. The Board is comprised of the members of the Executive Committee and the Directors who are all elected by “you” the ALSC membership.

The Executive Committee (EC) is comprised of five elected members including the President, Immediate Past-President, Vice President/President-elect, Fiscal Officer and Division Councilor. The Directors include eight elected members in staggered terms, each serving three years.

Together ALSC Board members determine ALSC policy; provide final approval for the ALSC budget at the Annual Conference; consider association items that require decision; attend all Board meetings at Midwinter and Annual conferences; approve ALSC committee functions, structures, procedures, guidelines, and/or actions; jointly determine current and future programs and activities in accordance with ALSC objectives (ALSC Bylaws, Article II); authorize relationships with other organizations; and attend Leadership and ALSC meetings (formerly known as Division Leadership Meetings) at both Midwinter and Annual Conferences.

Thank you to each ALSC Board member for their service. Also thanks to each of you for your everyday dedication---we’re moving forward together in creating a better future for children through libraries.

And, here are your 2012-2013 ALSC Board members:

Executive Committee

Photo of Mary FellowsMary Fellows, Immediate Past President
Manager, Youth and Family Services, Upper Hudson (N.Y.) Library System

Mary Fellows served as our ALSC President last year with grace and professionalism. As the organization worked through several issues and planned new programs, Mary was there to lead the association effectively. Her wealth of knowledge related to the organization and to effective communication skills have moved us forward in so many positive ways. We are fortunate to continue to draw upon her expertise and wise counsel.

Photo of Starr LatronicaStarr Latronica, Vice President/President-elect
Youth Services/Outreach Manager, Four County Library System, Binghamton, N.Y.

Elected last May, Starr has been working hard to assume the role of ALSC President on July 2. She joins weekly conference calls as we work on association business. Starr is making our “process committee appointments” that are so vital to the work and health of our organization. And, she is chairing a board committee that is working on strategies for the access area of our ALSC Strategic Plan. Starr will make an excellent ALSC President!

Photo of Tali BalasTali Balas, Fiscal Officer
Librarian, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York, N.Y.

With Tali’s knowledge of ALSC finances and budget matters, she has been called “the Board’s treasured financial genius.” She makes sure that budget questions are both asked and answered. Her attention to detail and process are greatly appreciated. She is a valuable asset in her leadership role for our organization.

Photo of Andrew MedlarAndrew Medlar, Division Councilor
Assistant Commissioner for Collections, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Ill.

Andrew is in his first year of a three-year ALSC Division Councilor term that began just after ALA Annual last summer. Andrew provides ALA Council updates to our members on ALSC-L and has also participated with updates in the ALSC Community Forums. He recently represented us at ALA Council meetings and many other related meetings in Seattle. Andrew makes sure that ALSC is represented at the table and we appreciate his detailed attention to Council matters on our behalf.


Photo of Rita AuerbachRita Auerbach
Librarian, Manorhaven School, Pt. Washington, N.Y. (Ret.)

In her first year on the ALSC Board, Rita brings a wealth of association experience and professional expertise to the table. Rita has served ALSC in many capacities and served other organizations in selecting the best in children’s literature. She always provides thoughtful insights and knowledge-based contributions to discussions.

Photo of Ernie CoxErnie Cox
Teacher-Librarian, Prairie Creek Intermediate School, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A second year board member, Ernie has served as our Emerging Leaders mentor and guided our team through their project this past year. Ernie can be counted on to provide insightful, thoughtful comments during board meetings.

Photo of Nina LindsayNina Lindsay
Supervising Librarian, Children’s Services, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, Calif.

A third year board member, Nina can be counted on to provide thoughtful insight into whatever issue is at hand. Her expert knowledge about the profession and our association is very evident during board meetings and in all other situations. Nina's creative leadership as chair of the Caldecott 75th Anniversary Celebration Task Force is strongly evident as this group has worked hard to provide a year-long experience that we won't ever forget.

Photo of Jamie NaidooJamie Campbell Naidoo
Associate and Foster-EBSCO Endowed Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

This is Jamie’s first year on the ALSC Board. He is currently serving on the board committee that is developing the "access" goal area of the ALSC Strategic Plan. With his teaching and research background, Jamie has an extensive knowledge of multicultural library services and literature that is important as we discuss ways to serve all children.

Photo of Michael SantangeloMichael Santangelo
Electronic Resources Analyst, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Michael is in his second year on the ALSC Board. He currently serves on the board committee devoted to the further development of the "access" goal area of the ALSC Strategic Plan. Michael’s knowledge of partnerships and electronic environments always proves valuable to ALSC Board discussions.

Photo of Megan SchliesmanMegan Schliesman
Librarian, Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC), University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis.

Megan is serving her first year as an ALSC Board member and has been a valuable participant in board discussions and decision-making. With her comprehensive knowledge of children's materials, Megan was appointed to serve as the board's representative on the ALSC Book Award Seals on eBook Versions Task Force.

Photo of Lisa Von DrasekLisa Von Drasek
Curator, Children's Literature Research Collection, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn. 

Lisa is an enthusiastic board member in her second year of service. She brings a variety of experiences to the ALSC Board that includes public libraries, school libraries, publishing, and now as the recently named curator of the Children’s Literature Research Collection at University of Minnesota.

Photo of Jan WatkinsJan Watkins
Head of Youth Services, Skokie Public Library, Skokie, Ill.

Jan is in her second year as an ALSC Board member; she brings a variety of knowledge about the association and about children’s librarianship. Jan has been a ready and engaged volunteer for special assignments such as assisting with the ALSC Membership Meeting and the Morris Seminar.

ALSC Board members serve the association in a range of capacities. Are you contemplating service to ALSC in a leadership role in the future? Whether you’re looking to lead; continue service in a committee member role; or start your involvement with ALSC, turn in an ALSC committee volunteer form. Vice-President/President-elect Starr Latronica is making committee appointments and ALSC Past-President Julie Corsaro, chair of the ALSC Nominating Committee. is working with her committee to compile the 2014 ballot. 

In conclusion, a round of applause to our 2012-2013 ALSC Board! And, thanks all of you for your service this past year and for your future dedication to our association and to the profession.

We hope to see you on ALSC-L, in an ALSC Community Forum, at the Arbuthnot Lecture, at ALA National Library Legislative Day, in Chicago or sometime in the future!—Carolyn S. Brodie, ALSC President

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Councilor’s Report – Winter 2013

Greetings, all! I’m happy to share this information with you from the ALA Council meetings held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

A primary issue before Council was the ALA-wide Dues Adjustment Proposal, which I shared on ALSC-L on January 21, and for which the feedback I received from you is greatly appreciated. This proposal by the ALA Membership Committee—to link dues increases for personal members (as opposed to organizational members, for instance) to changes in the Consumer Price Index—had already been approved by ALA’s Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC) and Executive Board. After much discussion and consideration during Council meetings and caucuses, changes were made to place a finite timeframe on the adjustment (September 2013-2017); to include members’ input into the evaluation of its success; and to require that ANY changes after that point be brought before members for approval. After these elements were incorporated, Council voted to allow the Dues Adjustment Proposal to be placed on the spring ballot so that all ALA members will have the opportunity to cast their own vote on it. An FAQ about ALA’s Dues Adjustment Proposal is available online, and any additional questions about it may be directed to Ron Jankowski, ALA Director of Membership Development, at rjankowski at

A very delightful bit of news is that Council adopted a tribute resolution, authored by Councilors Naphtali Faris, Erlene Bishop Killeen, and Kimberly Patton, commending ALSC on the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal. When ALA President Maureen Sullivan announced this, it was met with a round of applause from the entire Council—a proud moment for ALSC! There also were memorial tributes made to those recently lost, including Caldecott Medalist Leo Dillon; youth services advocate Dr. Kay Bishop; children’s literature professor Harris Clark McClaskey; and others including Alice Holly Scott, Clara Stanton Jones, Phyllis Brodnax Heroy, Aaron Swartz, Joseph Branin, Barbara Ann Schmitt Webb, and William (Bill) DeJohn.

Here is some additional, important information from the busy Council line-up:

  • Midwinter attendance was 10,731, a slight increase over the past two years.
  • ALA Treasurer Jim Neal reported that ALA ended fiscal year 2012 with a net loss to its General Fund of $1.3 million.
  • Sara Kelly Johns, councilor for our fellow youth division AASL, was elected to the ALA Executive Board, and we’re fortunate to have such a passionate and strong advocate for youth on that high-ranking body.
  • Council received an update from the Digital Content and Libraries Working Group, the fine folks who are doing much work on the e-book front, for which Maureen Sullivan provided a presidential update
  • A Sustainability Round Table has been created, per the request of ALA’s Committee on Organization, as “a forum for ALA members to exchange ideas and concerns regarding sustainability in order to move toward a more equitable, healthy, and economically-viable society.
  • Council heard reports from the very active ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, Committee on Legislation, and Freedom to Read Foundation, all of which are continually working to support the work of ALA and its members.
  • Council spent some quality time in small group discussion around the topic of “rethinking ALA” for the future, which was an extension of work that the ALSC Executive Committee participated in with other leaders association-wide last fall.

The work of ALA Council continues on throughout the year, and we will reconvene next at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago in June. In the meantime, I will share any important new Council developments on ALSC-L, and ask you to please feel free to contact me, at amedlar at, with your ALA Council ideas or concerns. Please let me, as your representative, know what Council issues concern you and your work, and any ideas you may have for resolutions to be proposed to the entire ALA Council as we strive to represent youth issues across the association. I look forward to hearing from you!—Andrew Medlar, ALSC Division Councilor

Editor’s note: The complete list of 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting Council actions is online. 

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Thank You to Our Most Recent Donors

Many thanks to the following contributors to ALSC . To learn how you can support ALSC, visit and click on "About ALSC--Contact ALSC--Donate to ALSC” on the left-hand navigation menu.

Pura Belpré Award Endowment

Pat Mora
Linda Perkins
Ed Spicer

Friends of ALSC

President's Circle

Linda Perkins

Gold Circle

Dudley Carlson

Silver Circle

Therese Bigelow
Anne Putman Britton
Maria Gentle
Lillian Gerhardt
Ed Spicer

Notable Circle

Barbara Genco
Amy Kellman
Ginny Moore Kruse
Nina Lindsay
Andrew Medlar
Alison O'Reilly
Linda Pavonetti

Friends Circle

Marilyn Ackerman
Rita Auerbach
Lolly Gepson
Pat Mora
Sharon Salluzzo
Tara Schaal

The Friends of ALSC has put out its first Annual Report. Learn how donor funds were used in 2012 to strengthen ALSC's services and resources. 

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ALSC Voices

ALSC Profile

Martha Edmundsen, Denton, Texas

Where do you currently work?
I retired from the Denton Public Library in 2008 after 29 years as children’s librarian, branch manager and children’s coordinator. Currently, I manage the Texas Bluebonnet Award for the Texas Library Association. I also teach children’s literature to pre-service teachers at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.
Where did you attend library school?
Texas Woman’s University, Denton.
What, when and where was your very first library position?
My first library position was as a library assistant (paraprofessional) in reference/adult services at the Denton Public Library. I began my work just after completing the MLS at TWU. I hoped to apply for the first professional librarian opening that occurred at this library. That job happened to be the children’s librarian position. I applied and the rest is history!
What is your favorite (or funniest or strangest) ALSC /ALA memory?
I have participated in many ALSC events and committees over the years. I think one of my favorite memories is winning the BWI Summer Reading Program Award. (I don’t think this award exists now). Kate McClelland was the chair of this committee that year. I remember being very impressed with how she treated me as a newcomer. She was gracious and welcoming. I have never forgotten this and was very sad when she left us too soon.
The funniest/strangest thing about ALA has always been the hotels. In the early years, my roommates and I stayed at some very interesting hotels. I remember two: one in Chicago and one in Washington, DC. (I also don’t think these hotels exist now!). The hotel in DC was near Dupont Circle. Our room was located very far from the elevators. We were shocked to see that it was an interior room with no windows! Very strange, indeed.
If you could give one piece of advice to library school students or new librarians, what would it be?
I often tell beginning librarians to join a professional organization and become active. My work in the Texas Library Association and ALSC has given me so much professional knowledge and insight. And, best of all, I have found many life-long friends in these organizations that I will treasure forever!
If you weren’t a librarian, what would be your dream career?
I have my dream job right now! The Texas Bluebonnet Award Coordinator oversees one of the largest children’s choice awards in the country. I am very fortunate to have been able to serve a three-year term. I’m sad that it is almost over. Now, I’m searching for my next “dream job”!
You’re marooned on a desert island; what three books (children’s, YA, and/or adult) and one food item do you want with you?
The three books I would need if marooned on a desert island would be:
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen – To encourage me and remind me that one can survive even against impossible odds.
Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis – To remind me to find the humanity in adverse circumstances.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – To take me to other worlds so that I can forget about my predicament.
Choosing a food item to have on the desert island is more difficult than the three books! My instinct tells me to take something nutritious or even to take water. But, I know I will be craving peanuts, almonds, or Cheetos. Living in Texas, I never go very long without a Tex-Mex meal. I would choose to have an endless supply of nachos and taco salad delivered to this desert island!
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies have been beaten back by the time required for reading many children’s books for the past few years. I hope to resume quilting and gardening very soon. Of course, there’s always reading to do!
What three words best describe you?
I can be described as quiet (until you get to know me). I am loyal to my friends and my profession. I have a sense of adventure. I love to travel. 

Bright Ideas

A Slightly Different Lego® Club

There's nothing like when a tween boy approaches you and says, “I think the library should have a Lego Appreciation Club, and I'm going to be the president. This is what I think we should do.” And now Madison (Ohio) Public Library has a Lego Club almost exactly as this tween envisioned.

The Lego Club program is open to all Lego aficionados kindergarten and older; and once a month approximately thirty children, ranging from kindergarten through sixth grade, boys and girls, come to talk Lego. Their grown-ups struggle behind them with boxes—cardboard or plastic—cradling their child's most recent Lego creation. This club doesn't get together with huge vats of Legos to build something for an hour and then take it apart. With this group, it's all about sharing, appreciating, and creating.
The first part of the club meeting is moderated by the tween who originated the idea. He asks for volunteers to bring their creations forward and talk about them. Everyone is welcome to bring in whatever he/she would like to share. It could be a Lego kit finally put together. It could be something completely original built with parts from multiple Lego kits. More often than not, the previous month's “build off” creations are displayed. It's each child's interpretation of a broad theme or topic, and what these children create is amazing.
It's no problem if the children don't want to talk in public. Mostly Lego Club is kids walking around talking to other kids one-on-one about what they each brought. Everyone appreciates the others' creativity and skill and the time that went into each creation, no matter how simple or elaborate. And in the final moments of the meetings, new build off topics are chosen. 
What does the librarian do in the room during Lego Club? Mostly it's yelling out, “Did someone lose a Lego head? I just found one on the floor,” or something similar. Occasionally it's keeping the peace if there is anyone whose enthusiasm for Legos overwhelms anyone else in the room. But really the group regulates itself. Adults who have the opportunity to be in attendance are frequently awed and inspired by what these kids do and their willingness to share their knowledge with others.—Shawn D. Walsh, Emerging Services and Technologies Librarian, and Melanie A. Lyttle is the Head of Public Services, at Madison (Ohio) Public Library

Read with Me, Sign with Me - Inclusive storytimes for children and families

Librarians are very familiar with the mantra of Every Child Ready to Read by now, but “Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play” may not work well for parents whose child is deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). Many D/HH families have limited information about how to best nurture their child’s language development during the critical period between birth and 3-years-old when language acquisition is booming. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly confusing for these parents when their child starts school and begins to learn more signs than they know. The growing communication gap leaves parents uncertain of what their child is trying to tell them.  For this reason, Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library & Information Center’s (MPL&IC) Read with Me, Sign with Me is as much a program for parents as it is for children.  

How it began

While on the reference desk, librarian Susan Penn met Sonia Howley, director of the Deaf Family Literacy Academy (DFLA.) The goals of the academy are to improve reading skills of D/HH children and teach their parents to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL).  Howley wondered if we could provide a special storytime for D/HH families if DFLA provided interpreters. That conversation between Penn and Howley grew into Read with Me, Sign with Me. The early literacy goals of our two organizations overlap beautifully.  The storytime definitely seemed do-able, especially with the support of volunteer ASL interpreters and DFLA mentors who encouraged parents to attend.
In October of 2011, MPL&IC entered into its initial partnership with DFLA to provide three sign-augmented storytimes at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. The collaboration with DFLA provides the library with a ready-made network for serving an underserved population and with deaf educators and mentors from whom to learn about the unique literacy needs of this population. Conversely, the library provides the public place where diverse groups can come together and storytime experts who can help make literacy an engaging activity for the whole family. In Read with Me, Sign with Me, children and parents remain together instead of attending simultaneous but different programs. Parents learn alongside their children with the primary goal of becoming better communicators and parents.
Library staff takes care to blend literacy activities with materials that DFLA staff members feel are appropriate for their audience.  For instance, one book considered for inclusion in storytime was Pat Hutchins’ The Doorbell Rang. It’s a lovely book, but many D/HH households use a flashing light instead of a doorbell to signal that someone is at the door. To make the book more true-to-life for our D/HH attendees, program staff constructed a closed circuit light bulb gizmo, worthy of any science fair, that could be activated to light when “the doorbell rang.” The audience got to see the doorbell “ring,” and the hearing audience benefitted from the usual storytime dramatic verbal “rrrrring!”  
Read with Me, Sign with Me is geared toward young children but open to all.  Family style programming, where older siblings can work with younger siblings alongside parents, has proven to be workable for both staff and families. Dramatic play might involve older siblings helping younger ones to act out verbs or one of the stories using hats or props. Each thematic program includes reading at least two books, an instructive sign moment spent practicing new signs from the stories, and active elements, like acting out one of the stories. Everyone assists with the crafts, which provide a hands-on reminder of the program. Craft time also offers the parents a chance to informally chat with other parents in attendance.
Through the Read with Me, Sign with Me program, parents learn to sign to communicate with their children, and to learn new vocabulary words to stretch their own signed vocabularies. Parents also learn tips at each session for helping their older D/HH child with reading, along with general parenting tips that are mentioned informally in the course of the session. One of the unexpected positive results has been the opportunity for D/HH children to play with/do crafts with hearing children. The parents—and apparently the children—really enjoy the chance to mingle and play in a comfortable setting. Parents mentioned that the sessions made them feel more competent and like they are doing everything they can for their child.
The ALSC Light the Way Grant has allowed MPL&IC to continue and expand our Read with Me, Sign with Me programs to a monthly offering that continues through the present. We are planning to continue the series indefinitely. The families we have been serving through this grant are becoming more and more comfortable coming to and using the library. Read with Me, Sign with Me produces lots of smiles, silent applause (think “jazz hands”), and encouragement of one another among the group.  Children no longer feel shy about getting up in front of the group to participate in a game or demonstrate a sign or act out a part. There is a real community feeling.  It is very gratifying to see people, who might have avoided the “hearing library,” realize that it is their library too—thanks to Read with Me, Sign with Me.—Mary Seratt, Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library & Information Center

Scene on ALSC-L - An American Girl® in the Big Apple

Did you see the post on ALSC-L sharing the New York Times (NYT) artice about the New York Public Library branch that loans out an American Girl® Doll. It is a very heartwarming article! Even more touching is the follow-up NYT article that reported on the outpouring of donation offers the library received from individuals around the country.

A Tween Lock-In at the Library

You know someone, perhaps someone at your library, who has done a lock-in for high school kids. Maybe you even helped for some or all of the event. But would you spend 12 hours with a bunch of 4th-8th graders? We did, and by the end of that time, we were in MUCH better shape than the kids!
Between fifty-five and sixty-five tweens arrive at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night. The parents are told to expect their children will NOT sleep anytime before the adults return the following morning at 7:30 a.m. to collect them. The rules: the tweens must bring a flashlight and wear sneakers. It starts with two crazy adults. Then the equally insane library director arrives about 11:30 p.m. Then an alarming awake public services librarian arrives at midnight. In the end, four adults are still wide awake at 7:30 Saturday morning while parents pick up bleary-eyed children who are practically dead on their feet. How did it happen that only a handful of children sleep for a few hours or even a few minutes? We're not quite sure but we suspect it has something do with...
--Playing worm tag outside for an hour soon after the tweens are dropped off.
--An hour or so of flashlight tag in the darkened library.
--Lots of pizza and sugary drinks.
--Playing videogames with your friends as long as you wanted from midnight until 7:30 a.m.
--Running around and playing tag or some funhouse version of Capture the Flag for as long as you want.
–Voluntarily cleaning the entire library of random piles of books and messy shelves of tipped over materials.
--Tweens making it a tradition that 5:45 AM is a good time to do a Conga line through the library.
--Playing Minute-to-Win-It games or having a pillow fight with balloons instead of actual pillows.
--Board games and puzzles scattered around.
--Comfy chairs for just sitting and talking with your friends.
--Or it's the simple fact that no one is going to tell you to go to sleep.
Apparently in the permission slip the parents sign in order to have their tweens attend the event, we should specify that even though they get their offspring back at 7:30 Saturday morning, the tweens are completely useless for the rest of Saturday and sometimes into Sunday morning. The tweens wear themselves out, and for the most part their parents loved having a weekend practically without kids. It is a win-win situation for everyone!--Melanie A. Lyttle, head of public services, and Shawn D. Walsh, emerging services and technologies librarian, Madison (Ohio) Public Library. Both can stay awake for 12 hours with tweens who also don't sleep!

Thinking Ahead - Banned Books Week | September 22−28, 2013

2012 Banned Books Week is a distant memory at this point, but it's never too early to start planning for next September. The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee's post on the ALSC blog wrapping up Banned Books Week 2012 shares some creative and fun ideas that might spark your creativity for 2013. 

Banned Books Week 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the yearly celebration of the freedom to read. To commemorate the milestone anniversary, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom coordinated the 50 State Salute to Banned Books Week. The salute features videos from each state demonstrating how they celebrate the freedom to read. Check these videos out to jumpstart your plans for Banned Books Week 2013.  

Getting Together

Tickets Now Available for 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture

Tickets for the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Michael Morpurgo are now available. The lecture, entitled “War Boy to War Horse,” and hosted by Nazareth College and the Youth Services Section of the New York Library Association (NYLA) will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Linehan Chapel in the Golisano Academic Center of Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. The honor lectureship will be tied to several other significant events for librarians and readers of children’s and young adult literature during Children’s Book Week and will kick off the 38th annual NYLA Youth Services Section’s Spring Conference on Friday, May 17, 2013. Required tickets are free for the lecture and must be obtained through the Youth Services Section of NYLA. To learn more about acquiring tickets, please visit the 2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture website

Born in England, Michael Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing.  His books are noted for their imagination, power and grace.  In 1976, he and his wife established the charity Farms for City Children.  He is an officer of the Order of the British Empire and served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate.  His novel, “War Horse,” has wowed theater audiences in London and New York and movie audiences all over.

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is sponsored by ALSC.

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Conference on Family Literacy

The 22nd National Conference on Family Literacy is being held April 28-30, 2013, in Louisville, Ky. This event for educators, administrators, and literacy advocates, offers professional development sessions and presentations that will inform and inspire. This year's speakers include: James Patterson, best-selling author and founder of; Eepy Bird, the dynamic duo behind the “Mentos and Diet Coke” viral videos; Susan Pimentel, lead writer of the Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy; C.C. Chapman, author, speaker, and motivator; and others. For registration information, visit the National Center for Family Literacy website.    

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Registration Open for the ALSC Preconference - Hurry, space is limited!

A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal will be held Friday, June 28, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., prior to the opening of the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. This engaging event will take place at the Art Institute of Chicago and highlight Caldecott-winning illustrators, editors, and art directors sharing aspects of the creative process.  

Highlights include:

  • A reception and book signing on Thursday evening, where you'll have an opportunity to visit the Art Institute's exhibition of original art from Caldecott Medal and Honor Books, 2010-13, and get books signed by Caldecott Medal artists. (Books will be available for sale on site.)
  • A keynote presentation by Brian Selznick, 2008 Medalist (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) and 2002 Honoree (The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins). 
  • Sneak peeks into the process of creating an award-winning picture book, from "Matching Words and Pictures" featuring Erin and Phillip Stead and Neal Porter; to "Choosing a Medium and a Style" featuring Chris Raschka and Lee Wade; to "Preparing Art for Production" featuring Jerry Pinkney and Patti Ann Harris.
  • Interactive book discussions, organized so that you will read one Caldecott winner from each decade, assigned in advance; challenge yourself to read ones you might not have been inclined to otherwise.
  • An Honor Book luncheon panel, moderated by Leonard Marcus and featuring Melissa Sweet, Pamela Zagarensky, Peter Brown, and Kadir Nelson.
  • Your choice of one of twelve fascinating breakout session topics, several to be presented by Art Institute staff in order to offer you the best art expertise available. Sessions include: "Art and Stories," "The Caldecott Medal and Social Issues," "Caldecott Medal Artists at the Art Institute: A Closer Look," "Caldecott Books for Older Readers," "How Did They Do That?" "Look to Learn; Learn to Look," "Multi-Layered Meanings," "Randolph Caldecott and Caldecott Medal History," "Serving on the Caldecott Committee," "Style and Media," "Watching Dry Paint!," and "Weston Woods and the Caldecott Winners."
  • A closing session on possible future directions in children's book art by Paul O. Zelinsky, three-time Caldecott Honoree and 1998 Medalist (Rapunzel). 

Preconference registration is available online or by calling 866-513-0760.  Space is limited.  The preconference is taking place as part of the 2013 ALA Annual Conference; separate registration is required but attendees do not have to be registered for Annual Conference to attend the preconference.

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Caldecott Art and the Value of Visual Literacy - 2013 President's Program

ALSC's Charlemae Rollins President’s Program: Think With Your Eyes! will take place on Monday, July 1, 1-3 p.m., during the ALA Annual Annaul Conference. A conclusion to the year-long Caldecott annivesary celebration, the program will delve into a powerful method of engaging with pictures—and explore the value of using the technique with children. Whether the images are masterpieces on a museum wall, part of a picture book narrative, or photographs and charts in a science text, understanding and appreciating what we see is a skill that can be developed. In part one of the program, Oren Slozberg, Executive Director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), will invite audience participation as he introduces the process. This method has proven to be highly effective in public libraries and schools in developing observation skills, critical thinking, and civil discourse--powerful habits of mind across the curriculum and throughout life. 
In part two, library and museum partners will demonstrate how collaboration adds up to more than the sum of its parts in supporting visual literacy. The final presentation will focus on the national movement to turn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives and funding into STEAM by adding Art!  

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Member News

Jill Bellomy, Texas Woman's University (TWU) doctoral student, and school librarian at Highland Park Middle School, Dallas, was recently awarded the Virginia Chandler Dykes scholarship, which was established to attract the best and brightest graduate students to TWU. Congratulations, Jill!

Joyce Welkie, children’s services manager at Plainfield-Guilford Township (Indiana) Public Library, will retire on April 1, 2013, after 35 years as a librarian. In addition to her public library work, she started her career as a school librarian/teacher at Westville Elementary School in northern Indiana. Joyce has been an ALSC member for 19 years and recently chaired the Institute Planning Task Force for the 2012 event in Indianapolis. Happy Trails, Joyce!

Janet Ingraham Dwyer, library consultant for youth services, State Library of Ohio, Columbus, was named a 2012 Library Journal Reviewer of the Year! She was chosen from among hundreds of reviewers who contribute to LJ.

Kudos to Leda Schubert! Her book Monsieur Marceau: Actor without Words won the 2013 Orbis Pictus Award for outstanding nonfiction for children from the National Council of Teachers of English! 

Debb Green, member of the 2013 Geisel Award Committee and retired librarian from Iowa City (Iowa) Public Library, donated more than 300 children's books, which she received in 2012 for Geisel Award consideration, to the Solon (Iowa) Public Library. Debb even book-talked the 2013 Geisel Award and Honor books in a video on the Iowa City Press-Citizen website. Thanks, Debb, for sharing the love! (Photo courtesy of Iowa City Press-Citizen)

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Spring Is Election Time!

Voting in the 2013 ALSC/ALA election will begin at 9:00 a.m. Central Time (US) on March 19, 2013. Ballots close at 11:59 p.m. on April 26, 2013. Check out the list of candidates and issues at ALSC's informational 2013 election page. Complete ALA ballot information is also online. Don't forget to vote!

Summer Reading Update

The "News You Can Use" sessions at the 2013 ALA Midwinter Meeting provided a treasure trove of practical ideas and information for library professionals. Among the presentations was "Summer Reading Update," presented by respresentatives from ALSC, the Public Library Associaton (PLA), and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Did you miss this session or Midwinter completely? Never fear! Audio-visuals from "Summer Reading Update" and many more sessions are available online. For the link to "Summer Reading Update," scroll down to Sunday, January 27, 10:30 a.m. 

eBooks Resources

During the Leadership and ALSC meeting (formerly the Division Leadership Meeting) at the recent ALA Midwinter Meeting, Sue Polanka, Head of Reference and Instruction for the University Libraries at Wright State University and author of the website, No Shelf Required, delivered a presentation on ebooks. To complement the presentation, the Children and Technology Committee (C&T) compiled a handout with further examples of, and reading and information about existing library eBook programs. An audio recording and slides from Sue's talk and C&T's resource are available on the ALSC website in the Professional Tools section under the heading "eBooks and Digital Content."

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Friends of ALSC Offering 2013 Preconference Scholarships

ALSC and the Friends of ALSC are offering two scholarships to the 2013 ALSC Preconference, A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal. The Preconference is taking place on Friday, June 28, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Art Institute of Chicago. Scholarship recipients must be ALSC members who work directly with children in a library setting.

The ALSC Preconference will take attendees on a wild ride through the past, present, and future of award-winning children’s book art by celebrating 75 years of the Randolph Caldecott Medal. Presenters, including Caldecott winners, as well as editors, art directors and production managers, will talk about the creative process. Particpants will engage with one another in small focus groups and interactive, critical discussions of Caldecott medal books throughout the years.
Further details about the preconference scholarships are on the ALSC website.  All applications must be submitted by May 3, 2013; late entries will not be considered.

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Read! Build! Play! Update

The reaction to Read! Build! Play! has been extremely positive! Recently celebrity Julianna Margulies hosted a Read! Build! Play! story time to show how the combination of reading and building can increase a child’s early literacy skills. In case you missed it, last September ALSC showcased the importance of play, in particular constructive play, in public programming in a white paper. We encourage you to log on to ALSC and give it a read.
Since families across the U.S. are falling in love with Read! Build! Play! it is our hope to raise even more awareness. With March being National Reading Month, we will dedicate the last two weeks (March 17-31st) to Read! Build! Play!
What does this mean? How can you help? And how can it help you?  
1. Host an event
  • Sometime between March 17-31st, 2013, we would love for your library to host a Read! Build! Play! event for families in your community.
2. Share your event information
  • ALSC and LEGO® DUPLO® will do media outreach around these two weeks with the call to action for families to come and join a local RBP event.
  • We will promote the experience via radio, TV, online and print targets—on a local and national level.
  • Once you confirm your event’s time/date if you can please let us know the details, we can keep it in mind for our outreach. While we can’t guarantee local coverage we will try to promote your event as appropriate. 
  • Please send a note with your library name, event date, time to: Liz Sloan sloan at and Joanna Ison jison at

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Upcoming Webinars 

Check out ALSC’s spring/summer line-up of webinars—a convenient way to get professional development on the go.  ALSC webinars are taught by experienced instructors in a comfortable Adobe Connect setting. In one hour or so, you’ll have more than a few ideas to use in your library!

For more information on these webinars – such as times, fees, and registration – please visit the ALSC webinar site: Below is a calendar of upcoming webinars: 
Get to Know the Caldecott Winners
Tues., Mar. 12, 2013, 5 - 6 PM CT
Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Thurs., Mar. 14, 2013, 4 - 5 PM CT
So You Want to Genre-fy your Library...and More
Wed., Apr. 3, 2013, 1 -2 PM CT
Expanding the Caldecott Experience: Programming with Caldecott Winning and Honor Books*
Tues., Apr. 9, 2013, 6 - 7 PM CT
Seeing the World through a Different Lens: International Films for Youth
Tues., Apr. 23, 2013, 5 - 6 PM CT
Best Practices for Apps in Storytime
Wed., May 8, 2013 1 -2 PM CT
Get to Know the Caldecott Winners
Thurs., May 16, 2012, 1 - 2 PM CT
So You Want to Genre-fy your Library...and More
Thurs., May 23, 2013 3 - 4 PM CT
So You Want to Genre-fy your Library...and More
Tues., Jun. 4, 2013, 6 - 7 PM CT
Best Practices for Apps in Storytime
Wed., Jun. 19, 2013, Noon - 1 PM CT
Best Practices for Apps in Storytime
Wed., Jul. 10, 2013, 1 -2 PM CT
Best Practices for Apps in Storytime
Wed., Aug. 7, 2013, Noon - 1 PM CT
So You Want to Genre-fy your Library...and More
Mon., Aug. 26, 2013, 1 - 2 PM CT
*This webinar is being offered free to personal ALSC members. Registration for non-members is $55.
Did you know that ALSC makes past webinars available? Archived presentations cost only $25. The complete list of archived webinars is available online.

Día! Diversity in Action

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures. The celebration is intended to be year-round, culminating on April 30th.
The 2013 National Dia Program Registry is now open.  Register your library’s program to help create a national database that showcases all types and sizes of Día programming. As an extra incentive if you register your program, we will send you the newly designed Día bookmarks, stickers, and buttons for free while supplies last!
The updated 2013  Día Booklist and addendum features more than 200 titles and is available to download for free off our website. This is a great resource for your Día programs! A publicity toolkit is also now available and features press release, letter to the editor, and other templates that can be used to publicize your Día event to local media outlets.
Through a Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant, ALSC has awarded 12 mini-grants, $5,000 each, to libraries across the country to start Día Family Book Clubs.  
For more information about Día and more great resources for your events, visit our website!

Oregon Día Proclamation

Oregon's Governor has signed a proclamation observing April 30,2013, as El dia de los ninos/el dia de los libros. If others are interested in requesting their state or local government make the same proclamation, ALSC has a proclamation template available in the Dia publicity toolkit

2015 Arbuthnot Lecturer

ALSC invites members to suggest names for the 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecturer. Established in 1968, Arbuthnot award is given to an individual of distinction who shall prepare and present a paper which shall be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. The individual should have made an impact on the world of children’s literature with potential to make an additional contribution to the field through the lectureship. The lecturer may be related to the field of children’s literature in any area: author, illustrator, editor, publisher, professor of children’s literature, reviewer, art director, etc. and need not be a resident or citizen of the United States. 
To suggest an individual for the 2015 lectureship, please submit the following information: name; professional title/occupation; biographical sketch; justification for consideration; and major publications of the individual in a Word attachment to Arbuthnot Committee chair Sue McCleaf Nespeca at sue at Deadline for submission is April 15, 2013. 

Cast Your Vote - Conversation Starters at ALA Annual Conference

"Conversation Starter” talks are fast-paced 45-minute sessions intended to jumpstart conversations and highlight emerging topics and trends. Public voting is now open through March 31, 2013, to determine which sessions will be added to this year’s Annual Conference program. The AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation has proposed Going Up the Down Slide: School and Public Libraries Partner to Reduce Summer Slide,  bringing together enthusiastic moderators from all three divisions to engage participants in focused conversations around the theme of “summer slide,” the loss of academic skills, motivation, and knowledge that happens to students of all ages during the summer. This session will highlight the enormous benefits of forging partnerships between school and public libraries by encouraging participants to ask questions, share  strategies, showcase successful programs, and exchange ideas. Conversations will emphasize the intersection between STEM, Common Core, summer reading assignments and programs, and “summer slide.” For more information or to cast your vote, visit the "Summer Slide" page on ALA Connect

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Field Notes: News You Can Use

Libraries by the Numbers - IMLS Survey Results

Public libraries provide essential services to children in the U.S. We all know that statement is true and now we have the statistics to back it up. In January, the Institute of Museum and Library Services announced the results of its 2010 Public Library Survey, an analysis of the most comprehensive annual data collection of U.S. public library statistics. This is the first federal statistical report on public libraries to go beyond a national level analysis to report on trends at the local, regional, and state levels. The report identifies indicators in three areas: services and operations; resources; and workforce. To provide a more complete picture of library service in the U.S., the report provides a snapshot for each state, describing characteristics of library service. The collected data also is available online for researchers.

NEH Seeks Nonfiction Nominations

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) seeks nominations for a new nonfiction booklist for elementary, middle, and high-school aged children. Aimed at young readers who want to delve more deeply into areas such as history, biography, archaeology, or philosophy, this new list will supplement NEH’s popular summer reading list, which, since its inception in 1988, has been heavily weighted towards works of fiction. NEH’s new nonfiction list will reflect the new Common Core State Standards, which place a greater emphasis on nonfiction material, and will serve as a resource for teachers and parents of children who want to read about the tragic Irish potato famine of the 1840s and 50s or the infamous Salem witch trials in addition to—or instead of—Harry Potter and The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

NEH seeks your assistance in building its first nonfiction Summertime Reading List and invites you to nominate outstanding nonfiction books for any or all of the following age groups: 5-8 years old; 9-13 years old; and 14-17 years old, and tell NEH why your selections should be recommended for a new generation of readers. 
Nominations may be made online. Recommended titles should have a strong humanities content, be of lasting value to readers, and readily available in print. Final selection of the books will be made by an advisory board composed of educators, library and information science specialists, historians, scholars of literature, and experts in childhood literacy, and will be announced in 2013.

International Children's Book Day - April 2

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books. The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) has been awarded the sponsorship of the 2013 International Children’s Book Day. Artist Ashley Bryan and poet Pat Mora have created an inspirational poster themed Bookjoy! Around the World. The poster and an informative brochure can be downloaded from the website. A high quality full-sized poster is available for sale from the USBBY Website.

These materials may be used in many ways to promote books and reading. Many IBBY sections promote ICBD through the media and organize activities in schools and public libraries. Often ICBD is linked to celebrations around children´s books and other special events that may include encounters with authors and illustrators, writing competitions, or announcements of book awards. 

A new interactive blog has been developed with articles and resources for celebrating ICBD. Submit your own ideas for celebrating “Bookjoy Around the World” on the blog.
Begin the month of April with an International Children’s Book Day Celebration and end it with an activity for El día de los niños/El día de los libros for an entire month connecting children to a world of learning through books, stories, and libraries.

Dia Program Grants

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature recently announced grants for libraries hosting 2013 Día programs [El Día de Los Ninos/El Día de los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day)], with an African American Focus. To request an application or apply, write to Center4MulticulturalChildrensLit at The award amount is $500 in selected multicultural children's books for the library. The application deadline is March 15, 2013. The winning recipient or recipients will be notified on or about March 30, 2013. Last year's winner was Rudisill Regional Library, Tulsa, OK.

LEAP Grants for Libraries

Better World Books, the socially responsible online bookseller, recently announced its third-annual Literacy and Education in Action Program (LEAP) Grants for Libraries and Non-Profits, an initiative designed to turn company revenue into literacy support.

$45,000 in funding is available. Participants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Projects should address the literacy needs of underserved populations in their community. Literacy needs are defined by broadly identifying, understanding, interpreting, creating, communicating, and computing information to live a more fulfilling and productive life.
  • Libraries and non-profits may pitch only one project each, with an award of $15,000 maximum for libraries and $7,500 for non-profits. Please be sure to clearly outline the project elements that require the requested funds.
  • Projects that will have a measurable and long term impact on an underserved population and will continue to operate after grant funds have been utilized will be looked upon favorably.
  • Better World Books looks forward to reviewing applications that bring a fresh and inspired approach to challenging issues.

The deadline for library applicants is April 5, 2013; winners will be announced May 14, 2013. Library grant recipients will be selected by the Better World Books Literacy Council.

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Students Helping Students Program Re-Launched

The international nonprofit, Room to Read, is celebrating the re-launch of its Students Helping Students (SHS) youth-action program, with a new youth-centered website, Since its inception in 2004, SHS has grown to see students from more than 700 schools supporting Room to Read across 30 different countries, raising more than $1.75 M to provide students with quality education in Asia and Africa. The new site gives students, parents, and educators from around the globe the resources and materials to develop educational campaigns, enhance global awareness, build leadership skills, and develop an understanding of non-profits companies.

SHS works closely with those adults who help support and foster the student movement, mainly schools, teachers, and parents. It seeks to broaden students’ knowledge of important social issues, such as illiteracy and gender inequality in education, while providing them the necessary tools to become the leaders of social change for generations to come. The SHS website is a targeted resource for social activists and entrepreneurs of all ages--featuring material for student leaders who want to support the work of Room to Read. Teachers have access to fact sheets, projects, multi-cultural crafts that they can use to supplement instruction and projects. Parents will find family-friendly advice on how to teach kids about global issues, philanthropy, and volunteerism through book clubs and other activities.

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Bank Street's Top Three Children's Books

The Bank Street College of Education's Children’s Book Committee presented awards to its choices for the best children’s books of the year in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry this month.  

The 2013 winners are:
Fiction. The Josette Frank Award honors a book of literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.  
Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf/Random House). Auggie’s fifth-grade classmates—-and the rest of his school—-grow to appreciate the bright, witty boy masked by a frighteningly disfigured face.
Nonfiction. The Flora Stieglitz Straus Award is given for a nonfiction book that serves as an inspiration to young readers.
Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport (Candlewick). This account recalls both famous and lesser-known Jewish fighters who struggled for their people's survival during World War II. A most important work supported with photographs, citations, bibliography, and maps.  
Poetry. The Claudia Lewis Award is given for the best poetry book of the year for young readers.
National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar! edited by J. Patrick Lewis (National Geographic). A plethora of outstanding poems—old and new—are arranged thematically. Resources, writing tips, and breathtaking photographs.
The Children’s Book Committee will also make available later this month its Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2013 Edition, which contains more than 700 annotated titles, divided into age ranges and categories. The complete list of 2013 recommended titles will be available online only, without charge.

2013 Keats Awards Winners

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, in partnership with the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, announced on March 4 the winners of the 27th annual Ezra Jack Keats New Writer and New Illustrator Book Awards. The 2013 awards ceremony will be held April 11 during The University of Southern Mississippi’s Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival.

The New Writer Award winner is: Julie Fogliano for And Then It’s Spring (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press), illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
Fogliano shares the excitement that goes hand in hand with planting the first seeds of spring. After months of snow, a boy and his dog agree that enough is enough, and decide to plant a garden. They dig, plant, play and wait…and wait…until at long last, shades of green begin to replace the brown. Spring is in the air!

The New Illustrator Award winner is: Hyewon Yum for Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! (Frances Foster Books/Farrar Straus Giroux)
First day of kindergarten jitters may be nothing new, but in Yum’s book, it’s a parent who is frantic and needs reassuring! Playfully using color and size (Mom and son take turns appearing small and blue-tinted; large and rosy pink), this author-illustrator captures the emotional highs and lows of both parent and child around this milestone.

Honorable mentions also were awarded:

New Writer Honor

  • Mara Rockliff for My Heart Will Not Sit Down (Knopf), illus. by Ann Tanksley
  • Jennifer Lanthier for The Stamp Collector (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), illus. by François Thisdale
  • Don Tate for It Jes’ Happened (Lee & Low), illus. by R. Gregory Christie

New Illustrator Honor

  • K.G. Campbell for Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters (Kids Can)
  • Sanjay Patel for Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth (Chronicle), written by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes

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Register Endangered Species Day (May 17) Activities Online

School and community librarians planning to participate in the 8th annual national Endangered Species Day on (or near) May 17, can now register their activities on the event calendar at
Libraries throughout the country have previously participated as a way to help educate young people and adults about the importance of protecting threatened and endangered plant and animal species and their habitats, and to generate further visibility of their library programs. For example, last year the Jefferson County Library in Louisville, Georgia, had a month-long display that featured books, photos, and other items highlighting endangered species and their habitats, and the town of Wise, Virginia, celebrated Endangered Species Day in several ways, including an exhibit of visual/audio/written materials about endangered species/conservation at three regional libraries.
Other potential activities include children’s art/activity programs, presentations from local experts, and film showings.
The Endangered Species Day website offers a variety of resources to help plan and host an event, including background information, planning guidelines, flyers, a reading list, and materials for children’s activities (many of which can be downloaded and printed).  
If you have any questions, contact David Robinson, Endangered Species Day Director at drobinson at

Time for Bedtime Math

Many parents know to read to their kids at night--but what about math? Bedtime Math is a nonprofit group that makes math a fun part of kids’ everyday lives, just like the bedtime story. Bedtime Math offers families a free, playful math problem daily, on everything from ninjas to flamingos. Their library programming ideas, including Pajama Parties and Summer of Numbers programs, incorporate hands-on math games. Learn more at

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